what do you know

By the time you get here, mid thirties, and maybe you've travelled around a bit and met lots of people (I love people), you realise that everyone's got something they know about. 

I've met people that know lots of stuff about science (my brother in law Owen). Some that know lots about coffee (Adam). Or cows (Hi Dad.) There are people that could tell you everything about Mussolini (yep, that's you Kev), or musical theatre (wagging my head at sister Naomi) or, I don't know, I could go on. Everyone you meet knows something

What do I know about? Not much really. But I do know a little bit about food. Actually: medieval food.

Unfortunately (and frankly, intensely surprisingly), it doesn't deeply fascinate everyone else in the world the way it fascinates me. 

I wrote an undergraduate honours thesis on the food supply arrangements of the First Crusade. (And KLUNK, that's the sound of the first sleeping head hitting the table). 

I began a PhD on the logistics of feeding the armies across the crusading period (1096 – 1292) (KLUNK, KLUNK). I'll go back to it one day. 

So, medieval food. 

Wanna eat some?

I have, on occasion, invited people for dinner and served them an entire medieval meal made from authentic fourteenth century recipes. No forks, of course. A trencher (board) shared between two, served in courses accompanied by hippocras. FUN. Really. 

So I thought I'd make you some of my favourite medieval food. Some of the flavours and spice combinations are a bit odd, or should I say, unfamiliar. But in principle, medieval food is simple, wholesome and seasonal. Very modern really. 

Please, stay tuned. I'll be right back with my jumbles. And dariole (custard tart). And roast shoulder of lamb with pancetta which either comes from Le Ménagier de Paris (my favourite) or Tractatus de modo preparandi et condiendi omnia cibaria (tee hee! sorry). 

This'll be fun, I promise. 

While we're cooking, please, tell me what you know about! Hello? Please wake up?


15 Comments on “what do you know

Alex Nolan
February 12, 2010 at 7:20 am

I’m not sure what I *know* about, but I am fastidious about English language useage and grammar, and spelling. I have been known to alter restaurant boards when things are spelt wrongly. Makes me REALLY MAD!!!!

Suzie B
February 12, 2010 at 8:00 am

I know about… 4 year olds. Hmmm.. yeah… not the world’s most exciting topic but is helpful at certain stages of life.

I also know about … decluttering. Again, not a great conversation topic- usually only brings out peoples secret guilt they are trying not to think about.

I also know a bit about Jesus (son of God), but that can be a real conversation stopper depending on the company. 🙂

So none of mine get much of a mention in general conversation but anyone out there, feel free to ask me about any of the topics- I’m really quite passionate about all of them!

Alex Nolan
February 12, 2010 at 9:23 am

Great Suze – please tell me how to declutter….! Starting with the hall….. or maybe the lounge…. or maybe the dining room….. or……

February 12, 2010 at 9:55 am

Some days I don’t think I know anything about anything! LOL

And while I am not a foody type person you totally had me when you mentioned ‘roast shoulder of lamb’! Man I am drooling here…. hurry up and serve it!!!!!

February 12, 2010 at 10:13 am

Please feel free to edit me then! With an English degree under my belt it’s frightening how many times my marvellous mother and very particular sister N have to email me pick-up edits in my posts! (You actually go up and ALTER menu boards? You’re crazy, lady xxx)

February 12, 2010 at 10:14 am

Suze knows more about 4 year olds than anyone, it’s true. Actually, can you guest post for me about de-cluttering? Unable to write it myself! Calling you now about this…

February 12, 2010 at 10:15 am

Hi Kate – this weekend, I promise! xxx

Alex Nolan
February 12, 2010 at 10:43 am

Yes, indeed I do – or put apostrophes on them, or take them off. I especially cannot stand when Italian restaurants spell things incorrectly – and no, it’s not just a regional dialect – just plain wrong spelling! Must admit, haven’t done it in a while, but I do mention it to the owner/manager when I spot a spelling mistake! Disclaimer: typos are not spelling mistakes, especially not with my crappy dell keyboard!

Alex Nolan
February 12, 2010 at 10:45 am

I’m looking forward to it to! Oh, and Fi – went to amazing friends for dinner last weekend and she made the MOST incredible venison and aubergine lasagne-come-moussaka thing. Man, it was jolly fine! Salad, lush bread, wine and that – I was in heaven. Talking of moussaka….?

Alex Nolan
February 12, 2010 at 10:49 am

PS. Fi – have you made tetra paks into wallets for the kids and their friends? Amazing idea, especially as tetra paks are very difficult to recycle – you have to separate all the layers for it to be recyclable. I can send you a link if you fancy – you need the 1 litre variety. We are having a greening campaign/1010 social next week and plan to intice small children there by getting them doing some fun recycling projects. You can also turn newspaper into carrier bags – but that’s a bit more high-maintenance!

Melissa Linardon
February 12, 2010 at 9:05 pm

My problem is i know about yucky nursing things. Things that if i tell i have a talent for you will think its strange. The best way to describe it is that i have a nose for things. I can smell horrible smells from an enormous distance and actually find the source and possibly the bug that causes it from the smell. And yes they involve body fluids of some type or another. Let your imagination run wild to the ickiest ones and i can smell them. I can read an ECG and tell what part of someone’s heart has had a heart attack. I am not sure what else but i seem to know the nurse stuff. Just ask me and test it out. xx

February 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm

hello inner pickle… i found your blog a couple of months ago when i was trying to find a farm in gerringong to hold a party at… great blog.

i dont feel like i know anything too much – what is it i know about?? gotta think about that. someone once told me my greatest strength was in critical thinking. i can think about ideas… not sure if that counts…but your thesis sounds interesting to me.

and Suzie B – i have a 4 yr old… can you guest blog on that too? i already know a bit about Jesus 🙂

February 12, 2010 at 10:19 pm

No KLUNKING here at all! I am intrigued by your thesis topics… and can’t wait to see your medieval fare. I don’t know much about anything, but I used to obsessively compulsively copy out medieval manuscripts and try and master the art of illumination, so I *get* your medieval thing.

International Woman of Mystery
February 13, 2010 at 12:09 am

I know I’m one of the klunkers (only ever done in the best of humour though, I promise!) but I still reckon there’s a novel in it. Like Master and Commander (loads of detail), only not nautical/military stuff but rather crusade-y/catering stuff. And you totally missed the boat on Pope Joan so you’d better get writing. In all that free time of yours. And I just have to tell you that the uber-speller just tried to spell “nautical” as “naughtical”. I know, genius.

G Alf Craig
October 16, 2014 at 12:59 pm

You have a little one who looks a dead-ringer for a Fiona Beckinsale I knew once a long time ago.
If there is a connection with that B and another B called Owen who have a fairdinkum B for a mother called Rosemary, Say g’day from Uncle Gordon.
Like your style.
Half your luck living where you do.
Yours in good humor,


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